Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Recovery.gov Is a Little Buggy

Transparency has been the name of the game in the Obama White House. Recovery.gov, the website set up to track how well the $787 billion federal stimulus package is working, reported various milestones that caught fact checkers' attention. According to the site, nearly 500 teaching jobs were created in a Chicago school district that elsewhere reported having only 290 employees. Numerous jobs were listed as having been created in nonexistent congressional districts in Iowa, Connecticut, Arizona and elsewhere. Officials from the Recovery Board cited human error as the reason for the discrepancies: people don't know what districts they live in, so they make them up. "We report what the recipients submit to us," said Ed Pound, the board's communications director. Amid increasing scrutiny, the board announced on Nov. 20 that it would work on creating software with "internal logic checks" to automatically reject reports that are erroneous.